Patient navigators try to break down elders' distrust and fear about health care and its white practitioners
Merely uttering "lood doo na'ziihii" can bring it on oneself.
"They say, 'I don't want to talk about it,'" said Janice Jumbo, site coordinator for the pilot program on the Navajo Nation and a doctoral candidate in epidemiology and public health. "Or they say, 'Why are you asking me these questions? I'm a healthy person now,'" she said.
Many will closely guard a diagnosis, embarrassed to tell family or friends since they feel it was their misstep or indiscretion that caused it. Some Navajo fear treatment cannot conquer cancer and see it as a death sentence.